Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)
Quick Look Pest Stats
Color: Brown, with white feet and underbelly
Size: 5 – 8″ Long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Deer mice often nest in sheltered outdoor areas such as old fence posts, hollow tree logs or piles of debris. During the winter months, deer mice may invade homes, garages, sheds or rarely used vehicles to seek shelter. Inside, attics and basements make the ideal deer mouse habitat. The deer mouse also builds its nest in storage boxes, stuffed furniture, drawers and wall voids.
The deer mouse feeds at dusk and dawn, preferring insects, seeds, nuts, berries and small fruits.
Female deer mice give birth to as many as 11 litters in one year. Each litter consists of anywhere from one to nine pups who reach sexual maturity after five or six weeks. The deer mouse gestation period lasts about 24 days, and females can become pregnant again shortly after giving birth. Young deer mice are born tiny, hairless, and blind and depend on their mother for survival during their first month of life. The pests typically live a year in the wild but can survive for two or three years in captivity.
The deer mouse transmits the potentially fatal Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. The disease can be transmitted through contact with mouse carcasses, or by breathing in aerosolized urine droplets of infected deer mice.
Droppings: May notice deer mouse droppings around the house.
Nests: Look for nests made of twigs, leaves, roots, and other fibrous materials.
Stains: Check for the greasy stains that deer mice leave on walls, windows, and other surfaces.
To keep deer mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime. Seal any cracks and voids. Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building. Use heavy gloves and protective breathing gear when working in an area populated by deer mice.